I've logged hours on end with FSX, mostly in the Coronado Cessna 187 G1000.
I'm interested in building a cost effective and convincing working panel of a Cessna 172. My goal is to become free from the mouse.
Because instrumentation is out of my price range, I'm thinking of running a second display with gauges behind a false front cut out of wood paneling. I've seen others like this and they look pretty good. I've also seen several USB game controller input cards that allow multiple switches to be wired and mapped to game controller inputs. seems like a more realistic and cheaper option to the Saitek or other similar switch panels. I would like to get as many functions working as realistically as possible. I foresee the radios and GPS being purchased items most likely down the road.
I came here to learn from the pros and hopefully avoid costly mistakes. So any help or input on a good place to start would be appreciated.
Anyway it'll annoy the wife, and will be a fun project. By the end I'll have her in the copilot seat.
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First let me say this, I built a 2 seater simpit and the wife was in the copilot seat once, got motion sick and has never been in it again LOL. Luckily though she is understanding and respectful of my crazy hobby as I am hers (she rock climbs, just as crazy in my book LOL)
Anyway, check out the video of my pit, which has the saitek panels in it (however I am not using saitek drivers to run them, we can talk more of the pros and cons of saitek drivers versus SPAD). But mainly I make custom gauge panels that are displayed on 2 19inch monitors (its a 2 seater one for each seat). Although making a custom gauge panel for every aircraft I have was a multi month project, in the end its awesome, as all my russian planes have russian gauges on the panels, etc. The premise of my build was to first pull every button or function out to a physical switch, I accomplished this with the saitek panesl, CH MFP, and thrustmaster MFD as you will see in the video. Once that was done my next quest was to get all the info I need accesible and thats why I made the gauge panels. I used FS Panel Studio to do this by the way, its a great tool although has a bit of a learning curve to it.
As my panels vary from aircraft to aircraft(digital or analog, # of engines, etc) I do not use any overlay on the monitors, instead I used a background that makes it look like each gauge is in its own gauge pod. And it looks great, anyway check out the video, I hope it gives you some inspiration for your build and let me know if you have any questions. Im sure I have faced many of the challenges you will face and would be glad to help.
Without further adue heres the video of my pit:
FSX Home Simulator Cockpit - YouTube
Simavaitor13 aka PyroMan
Re: checkin in
Inspirational is an understatement. That is fantastic! just watching your video, it seems like you really get the feeling of flying. I love the big monitors. I was going to start with 1 for the outside view and work up to 4, when I can find a deal.
Thanks for the information. I can see wanting to switch aircraft. I also enjoy flying the the Captain Sim C130 and CS 737, but I'm not ready to tackle all that, lots of switches and panels. Even still, my fav at the moment is the Coronado 182 G1000, but that could be accomplished with a faceplate change down the road after the 172 is built.
I was going to start with the Cessna-ish plan. because I think it would be relatively easy, could be accomplished on a relatively lower budget. would take up the least amount of room, and hopefully not be overwhelming. Plus I can get acquainted with interfacing with FSX, I have no clue, at the moment... I would really like it to be as close to scale as possible and have dual, yokes eventually.
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